Learning & Development

3 Tips for Maintaining Company Culture and Employee Happiness in the Wake of the Great Resignation

Over the past 2 years, we’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic impact the workforce in myriad ways. First, companies rushed to adopt remote technologies to support their newly remote workforce. Then, they pivoted to ensure a seamless and secure virtual customer experience. These changes were important to ensure businesses could weather the pandemic, but as it continued on, companies saw burnt-out employees leaving their jobs in pursuit of deeper purpose, stronger connections, and better work/life balance, which became known as the Great Resignation.

According to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the overall turnover rate for 2021 was 57.3%, with 25% being voluntary turnover, and 4.4 million employees quit their jobs in September 2021 alone—more than any other month. It became clear this past year that we’re overdue for a change in the way companies support their employees and ensure productivity and happiness.

Okta’s recently released “Businesses at Work” report contains data from 14,000 global customers, highlighting the apps and tools organizations are utilizing to help companies ensure low attrition rates.  It also provides key tips for HR teams as we navigate the aftermath of the Great Resignation. Spoiler alert: It found companies are investing in tools to support employees.

Based on the report findings, here are three tips to maintain company culture and spark employee happiness:

Create an Environment for Your Employees to Easily and Asynchronously Collaborate and Engage with One Another

As remote work grows increasingly more prevalent, apps that allow employees to collaborate and engage with each other, regardless of location and time zone, are critical. This year’s “Businesses at Work” report found collaboration tools were the most popular, with the category seeing 28% year-over-year (YoY) growth. Apps like Miro (301% YoY growth), Figma (236% YoY growth), and Monday.com (149% YoY growth) shot to the top of the list for the first time ever and followed Amazon Business for the second, third, and fourth slots, respectively. Even more impressive, these tools have been almost completely absent from the fastest-growing list since 2017.

Additionally, while HR tools have grown again across the board, employee engagement tools stood out: Culture Amp, an employee experience platform, grew 75% in the past year, and Lattice, a people management and engagement platform, grew 109% YoY and was ranked 6th overall. The last time an HR-related tool appeared in Okta’s Fastest Growing Apps list was BambooHR in 2016.

Use Easily Accessible and Understandable Tools

According to Adobe’s “2021 State of Work” report, 49% of U.S. workers said they would leave a company if they are frustrated by the technology they use at work. Especially as remote work continues to be the norm, companies need to find tools not only that help productivity and collaboration but also that their employees enjoy using, or at least find helpful.

With a plethora of new tools and applications to use, the “Businesses at Work” report found that, ultimately, employees like to stick to what they know best. Best-of-breed apps won remote work, and while many businesses still commit to the classics like Microsoft® 365 or Google Workspace, they now also deploy additional apps such as Zoom, Slack, and Box in order to add on advanced functionality and better support and connect employees. Of Okta’s Microsoft 365 customers, nearly 10% deploy 6 or more best-of-breed apps, 42% deploy Zoom, 32% deploy Slack, and 26% deploy Box.

Protect Your Employees Just as You’d Protect the Company

In addition to collaboration tools, security apps also saw increased popularity, particularly as companies need tools to protect both the business and employees. In the “Businesses at Work” report, Okta found that, excluding collaboration tools, 4 of our top 10 fastest-growing apps are in the security space and cover a variety of bases for Okta’s customers: Fortinet FortiGate (#5) provides next-gen firewalls, VMWare Carbon Black (#8) offers cloud-native endpoint and workload protection, Sentry (#9) provides application monitoring, and 1Password (#10) helps consumers manage passwords.

As retaining talent and boosting company culture and employee satisfaction become increasingly more important in the wake of the Great Resignation, it’s imperative that HR teams look to implement these tips and tools. A recent Gallup poll even found that companies that focus on culture and engagement achieve up to 29% higher profit, 19% higher sales, and a 72% lower attrition rate.

Many businesses have struggled through the past 2 years, but these apps—collaboration, best of breed, and security—all play a critical role in helping companies thrive through employee engagement and enhanced experience. At the end of the day, employees are a company’s most important assets, and they should have the resources they need to thrive, collaborate, and advance their careers. We are seeing a new post-pandemic workforce take shape, and it’s time for HR departments and companies to continue to find solutions for employees to help them work efficiently and stay connected.

Kristina Johnson is Okta’s Chief People and Places Officer, leading the organization’s global people function. She is responsible for the company’s human capital management strategy and oversees talent acquisition, talent development, total rewards, and engagement programs.

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